Gov. Chris Christie is defending his economic record following the release of data last week showing the state jobless rate hitting a 35-year high.
The governor said Monday in Asbury Park that the preliminary estimate of 9.8 percent for July will likely be adjusted downward. He said Democrats are being overly pessimistic.
Christie also defended the tenure reform bill he signed into law as a major step forward. The law creates a more rigorous evaluation process and speeds up the firing of ineffective teachers. But it leaves intact seniority protections.
Christie said critics have to understand he was dealing with a divided Legislature.
Asked about the slow start for the Revel casino, Christie said he always expected it to take a full year to get going because of its entertainment focus.
Christie was in Asbury Park to promote safeguarding the Jersey shore's beaches and water and the tourism industry.